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smart goalsAre you one of the thousands of people that decide to make a New Year’s resolution each year? Do you always swear you are going to work out more, go on the latest diet craze, or lose weight?

Research has shown that after one month of making a New Year’s resolution, about 64% of people still stick with their goal. After 6 months, the number drops to 44%. Why do many people who vow to become more fit, eat better, or change another behavior have a hard time keeping their word?

Our society has adapted to performing behaviors that will produce quick results. Because of this, the planning and proper goal-setting get thrown to the wayside and goals become unrealistic and too difficult to reach. Now that we’re half-way through the year, it may be time to look at how your New Year’s Eve goal is coming along. Using a tool called the SMART objectives is an effective strategy to keep on track with your goals, no matter what they are related to (health, job, stress-relief, academics, etc.). The acronym SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-phased. Below gives a breakdown of the SMART objectives.

Specific: Who is the target population? In other words, who will be doing the behavior to reach this goal? What will the action, activity, or behavior be? What will you be doing?

Example: ‘I will exercise.’

Measurable: How much change is expected? Can you actually measure the results?

Example: ‘I will go for a brisk walk outside for 30 minutes twice a week and document it on a sheet of paper or in a log.’

Attainable: Is your goal practical? Are you able to carry out this behavior knowing your resources and constraints?

Example: Even if you don’t have the financial means to join a gym or fitness club, choose to walk outside somewhere close to home or in inclement weather have a back-up plan of using a DVD to work out at home.

Realistic: Is this goal something you can actually do, or is it too difficult to achieve?

Example: If you haven’t exercised in years or never at all, would you be able to walk for 30 minutes twice a week or would it be more realistic to start off doing 10 or 15 minutes twice a week?

Time-bound: Does your goal have a time-frame? When will you meet your goal?

Example: ‘I will go for a brisk walk for 30 minutes twice a week for two weeks and log it each time.’ Then you can build on this goal and increase the amount of time or days you walk – doing 30 minutes three times a week instead of twice.

I always like to say that it’s never too late to start over with your original goal or create a new mid-year resolution! Remember – positive behavior change should be a lifestyle change, not a quick-fix. Taking a little time to plan, set realistic goals, and have a strategy to overcome obstacles will ensure you’re set up for success. When creating goals related to living a healthier lifestyle, make sure to be SMART about it!

References:

http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/evaluation/pdf/brief3b.pdf

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/new-years-resolutions-1-month-later

Photo reference: http://workablewealth.com/are-you-being-smart/

Written by: Shannon Erskine, Dietetic Intern/Liz Smith, OSU Extension
Reviewed by: Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension.

Farmer’s Market 101

farmers marketSo we’re in the heart of summer. What better way to spend your time than to take a trip to your local farmer’s market? As an experienced farmer’s market girl, I highly recommend buying your produce straight from the farm. Prior work experience on a farm allowed me to witness and appreciate all of the hard work and dedication that goes into producing the most delicious food. What could be better than fresh, nutritious, local fruits and vegetables?
In addition, the farmers or their staff will answer potential questions you may have. They constantly share great recommendations on how to select, store, and cook the produce they sell. The produce is truly fresh; vine or tree-ripened to give you the best tasting, highest quality, and nutrient-packed fruits and veggies you’ve ever had. You know exactly who is growing your food and where it’s coming from. This reinforces the farm to table concept – from purchasing produce where it is grown to taking it home for a delicious meal or snack.
To add to the excitement, you get to try new things that you may have never had before – and many farms display samples! Some farms may offer the ‘You-Pick’ option; this is where farmers let you pick your own fruits and veggies. For example, the farm I worked at had you-pick strawberries, raspberries, and peaches! So fun – and great to get the kids involved. Sometimes they host other fun activities and events such as hay rides and pumpkin carvings. Many farms also accept SNAP and WIC benefits. Not only are you supporting local businesses and the economy, but you’re getting the family involved in a fun, interactive and educational activity. So whether you’re a regular or a newbie, take some time this summer to search for farmer’s markets near you to enjoy the amazing, fresh foods they have to offer.
Check out some additional tips below to get started!
1. Find your local farmer’s market using the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass Map. You can simply type in your zip code and mile distance and find farmer’s markets near you! http://www.usda.gov/maps/maps/kyfcompassmap.htm
2. Explore different areas – some farms may have different foods to offer than others. This way you get a variety and have the chance to see plenty!
3. Develop a relationship with the farmer! Ask the farmer questions and make that connection. It’s always a great feeling to talk to the one who works so hard to bring you the freshest food!
4. Bring your own re-usable bag and return the containers or baskets the produce are stocked in. This cuts down on unneccesary waste and the farmers can always reuse the containers – money saver!
5. The farm season generally lasts from April until late October, early November, but many often stay open year round if they have meats, dairy, winter produce, and other home-grown items.
6. You could become a member of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). This benefits both you and the farmer in many ways and ensures you’re getting fresh food year-round. Visit http://www.localharvest.org/csa/ to find out more information!
7. Visit some handy resources to find out more information and tips on farmer’s markets!
a. http://www.nutrition.gov
b. http://www.usda.gov

Written by: Shannon Erskine, Dietetic Intern/Liz Smith, OSU Extension

Reviewed by: Donna Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County

Resources:
http://www.usda.gov
http://www.nutrition.gov

water 2What do you, a tree and a hamster have in common?

You all need water! All living things need water to survive whether they get it from a water fountain, a rain cloud or a little bottle attached to the side of a hamster cage!

How many of you think of a nice, cold glass of water when you need to quench your thirst? Whether we are indoors or out – we need to remember to keep our bodies hydrated and water should be the first thing we reach for. Your body is about 60% water and constantly needs to be replenished. Every cell in your body needs water to function properly.

  • Why water? Well, water does a great job in helping to keep our bodies hydrated without adding any sugar, caffeine or other substances
  • How much? You’ve probably heard for years that we all need 8 glasses of water every day – for a total of 64 ounces. Researchers have pointed out that the need for fluid can vary widely among individuals.
  • Does it have to be “plain” water? No, there are many ways to dress up the taste of a glass of water. A fairly common way to flavor the water is to add fruit or vegetable slices – lemons, strawberries, cucumber, etc. You can also add herbs to the water for refreshing drinks. Try a sprig of mint for a refreshing change of taste!
  • Can it help me lose weight? That is a possibility! If you drink a full glass of water before your meal, you may trick your brain into thinking that you are full sooner!       Also, if you substitute water for high calories drinks, you are helping control the number of calories your body is taking in each day.
  • Don’t always rely on your body to tell you that you need some water. When you are hot and sweaty, your thirst mechanism can shut off and you don’t know that you need some fluids. . If our bodies become dehydrated it can lead to physical and mental problems.
  • While water is the best source of fluids for your body, don’t forget that you can count all of the fluids you drink during the day. Many of the fruits and vegetables we eat have high water contents – try watermelon, strawberries, peaches, tomatoes, and celery.
  • Try to keep track of how much water you drink during a typical day. Aiming for the 8 glasses is not a bad thing – just remember that the amount your body needs will vary with your activity level, your body size and the temperature if you are outside and other factors.

Written by: Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, Heart of Ohio EERA, rabe.9@sou.edu

Reviewed by: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, Treber.1@osu.edu

 

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/feel-your-best-with-water

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/6-reasons-to-drink-water

How Much Water Do You Really Need? Health and Nutrition Newsletter: Tufts University. July 2014. Volume 32, No.5

My Dad used to tease us, as children, with the famous line, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!”  Well, now is the time to enjoy!  What’s YOUR favorite flavor?

I often wondered, where did that phrase come from, anyway?  According to Stanford University, “Ice Cream” or “I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream” is a popular song, first published in 1927, with words and music by Howard Johnson, Billy Moll, and Robert King. After initial success as a late 1920s novelty song, the tune became a traditional jazz standard, while the lyrics refrain “I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream” has remained a part of popular culture even without the rest of the song.

I love making ice cream at home! It is delicious and I sometimes feel it is becoming a lost art and a lost pleasure.  But, every year homemade ice cream causes several outbreaks of Salmonella infection with up to several hundred victims at church picnics, family reunions, and other large gatherings. From 1996 to 2000 (the latest year for which surveillance was completed), 17 outbreaks resulting in more than 500 illnesses in the United States were traced to Salmonella bacteria in homemade ice cream, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The ingredient responsible for the outbreaks is raw or undercooked eggs.

FoodSafety.gov offers this advice:

Cooking the Egg BaseCorrect size

Start with a cooked egg base for ice cream. This is especially important if you’re serving people at high risk for foodborne infections: infants, older adults, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems.

To make a cooked egg base (also known as a custard base):

  • Combine eggs and milk as indicated in the recipe. (Other ingredients, such as sugar, may be added at this step.)
  • Cook the mixture gently to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F, stirring constantly. The cooking will destroy Salmonella, if present. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of the mixture. At this temperature, the mixture will firmly coat a metal spoon (but please don’t lick the spoon if the custard is not fully cooked!).
  • After cooking, chill the mixture before adding other ingredients and freezing.

Other Options

You can also use egg substitute products or pasteurized eggs in your ice cream, or you can find a recipe without eggs.

  • With the egg substitute products, you might have to experiment a bit with the recipe to figure out the right amount to add for the best flavor.
  • Pasteurized eggs can be substituted in recipes that call for uncooked eggs.  Commercial pasteurization of eggs is a heat process at low temperatures that destroys any Salmonella that might be present, without having a noticeable effect on flavor or nutritional content. These are available at some supermarkets for a slightly higher cost per dozen. Even if you’re using pasteurized eggs for your ice cream, both the FDA and the USDA recommend starting with a cooked egg base for optimal safety.

So, by following these safe handling and proper cooking practices, you can enjoy refreshing, tasty homemade ice cream without worrying about making anyone sick!

Another option for a fun day with the family with children is to make Ice Cream in a Bag! The recipe and instructions are at: http://engineering.oregonstate.edu/momentum/k12/jul04/

Fun facts: Ice cream innovations from Ohio State University!

1921 – When chocolate sticks to ice cream…Melvin De Groote, an Ohio State chemical engineering alum, held 925 patents at the time of his death—second to only Thomas Edison. Among his many achievements is the invention of the chemical recipe that allows chocolate to stick to ice cream, leading to the Eskimo Pie.

1978 – The drumstick was perfected – Food science professors John Lindamood and Poul Hansen wanted to keep the ice cream in the frozen treat from making the cone soggy.  So they developed a way to coat the inside of the cone with chocolate.

Celebrate National Ice Cream Month with your favorite flavor!

Written by: Kathryn K Dodrill, Extension Educator, The Ohio State University Extension, Washington County.

Reviewed by: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, The Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.

Resources:

http://engineering.oregonstate.edu/momentum/k12/jul04/  http://www.osu.edu/features/2014/innovation.html#0

http://www.fda.gov/food/foodborneillnesscontaminants/buystoreservesafefood/ucm332850.htm http://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/homemadeicecream.html

http://rwj-b.stanford.edu/song/i-scream-you-scream-we-all-scream-ice-cream

 

marie fourth july

Summer has started and we have moved outdoors. Here are a few safety tips to remember when planning for this holiday season.

• Be safe swimming. Never swim alone, and make sure that kids’ water play is adequately supervised at all times. Statistics show that most young children who drown in pools have been out of sight for less than five minutes.

• Apply sunscreen before heading outdoors and reapply as needed. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause premature aging and skin cancer and those with darker skin should use a sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15, according to recommendations from the American Academy of Dermatology.

• Drink plenty of fluids to avoid heat illness in extremely hot climates. The risk of heat illness is increased for the young and old. Remember to check your medication interactions with sun and those with chronic medical conditions.

• Fireworks injuries take 200 hundred people a day to the emergency room in the month of July! Keep the kids and pets away from the fireworks at all times. Attending fireworks displays organized by professionals is always safer than trying to put on your own show.

• Check for Ticks!! Remind your family to check themselves (and your pets) for ticks at the end of the day. Being outdoors near grasses, woods, hiking or camping in any area where ticks are abundant, wear long-sleeved, light-colored shirts and long pants tucked into socks or boots to protect you from tick-borne diseases. The Academy of Pediatrics recommends that repellents should contain no more than 30% DEET when used on children.

• Remember don’t leave food out at your event all day. Allowing food to sit in outdoor temperatures can invite foodborne illness to your event. The FDA suggests never leaving food out for more than one hour when the temperature is above 90 F and not more than two hours at other times. Foods that need to be kept cold should be placed in a cooler with plenty of ice or freezing packs and held at a maximum temperature of 41 F.

Have Fun!!! Stay Safe This Holiday!

Written by: Marie Economos, Extension Educator, The Ohio State University Extension, Trumbull County
Reviewed by: Beth Stefura, Extension Educator, The Ohio State University Extension, Mahoning County.

REFERENCES:

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/f8d66b64-104b-4638-8f38-c203d2cd8684/BeFoodSafe_Logo___All_Ads.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=40b82161-495f-42d8-970a-62573d6e45ba#page=2

CPSC.gov.Fireworks Safety.

http://www.safekids.org/blog/summer-almost-here

http://www.safekids.org/blog/grilling-summer-safety

In our efforts to improve nutrition and choose “healthy foods”, it can sometimes be a challenge to know what is healthy and what is not. One measure of how a food fits in to your efforts to “eat healthy” is to look at how many important nutrients the food provides for the amount of calories it delivers. Our best bet is to choose foods that deliver the most nutrients – protein, vitamins and minerals – for the fewest calories. Avoiding empty calories is also a good goal. Low-fat dairy foods can be an important part of this plan. Dairy products that have some or all of the fat removed still contain all of the “good” nutrients we want.

girl drinking milkTogether, low-fat and fat-free milk, cheese and yogurt provide a unique package of nine essential nutrients that improve overall diet quality and promote good health. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recognize that milk and milk products are linked to improved bone health, especially in children and teens, and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure in adults.

What the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Say about Dairy Foods
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) encourage all Americans to increase intakes of low-fat or fat-free milk and milk products to the recommended daily amounts:

• 2 cups for children 2 to 3 years
• 2.5 cups for children 4 to 8 years
• 3 cups for those 9 years and older

Milk is the number one food source, in terms of consumption, for three of the four nutrients the DGA identified as lacking in the American diet – calcium, vitamin D and potassium.

According to the DGA, individuals who consume milk at an early age are more likely to do so as adults, so it is especially important to establish in young children the habit of drinking milk. Current evidence indicates intake of milk and milk products is linked to improved bone health, especially in children and adolescents. For women, around 40 percent of initial bone mass is achieved in the first 20 years of life, underscoring the importance of early bone development and health.

Nutrient-Rich Foods, Like Dairy
A positive approach to healthy eating does more than monitor calorie intake – it also maintains a diet that offers maximum vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients. Nutrient-rich foods, like dairy foods, provide essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients for fewer calories. Nutrient-rich foods from each food group include:

• Brightly colored fruits and 100 percent fruit juices,
• Vibrant-colored vegetables and potatoes,
• Whole, fortified and fiber-rich grain foods,
• Low-fat and fat-free milk, cheese and yogurt, and
• Lean meat, skinless poultry, fish, eggs, beans and nuts.

Dairy’s Health Benefits
Research has shown that:
• Osteoporosis – Dairy’s nutrients are vital to the development of strong bones thus reducing the risk for developing osteoporosis.
• Healthy Weight – Milk and dairy foods may also play a positive role in maintaining a healthy weight.
• Healthy Blood Pressure – Three minerals found in dairy foods – calcium, potassium and magnesium – may play an important role in maintaining healthy blood pressure.
• Cardiometabolic syndrome, Cardiovascular disease, type 2 Diabetes – Current evidence indicates that the consumption of dairy foods is associated with a reduced risk of Cardiometabolic syndrome – a cluster of metabolic abnormalities that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease – and type 2 Diabetes.

Author: Polly Loy, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Belmont County, Buckeye Hills EERA.
Reviewed by: Kathryn Dodrill, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Washington County, Buckeye Hills EERA
References: Dairy Foods and Nutrition Fact Sheet, Midwest Dairy Council, http://www.midwestdairy.com, March 2012.
USDA 2010 Dietary Guidelines, http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/DietaryGuidelines.htm
Nutrient Density Fact Sheet, Clemson University Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet, http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/food/nutrition/nutrition/dietary_guide/hgic4062.html

We know that sitting in front of a computer, laptop, tablet, video game or TV robs our children (and us!) of Playgroundtime that could be spent moving, playing or creating. It contributes to the obesity rate and encourages all of us to be “couch potatoes”.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, kids ages 8-18 now spend, on average, a whopping 7.5 hours in front of a screen for entertainment each day, 4.5 of which are spent watching TV. Over a year, that adds up to 114 full days watching a screen for fun.
Think about that – children are spending almost as much time in front of a screen as some of us spend during our work day. Wow! The 11-14 age group spends the most time in front of screens with their total reaching 9 hours per day! Five of these hours are spent watching television. Visit this website for a great infographic which shares information about each age group and their screen time averages. http://makinghealtheasier.org/getmoving

Get outside, have fun and move! How can we encourage our youth to become more active this summer?

• Limit total screen time to 1-2 hours per day.
• Involve your child in planning their day – ask them what activities they like to do and make some suggestions.
• Provide creative activities for your child to enjoy – think pens, paper, paint, modeling clay, or art and craft projects.
• Send the kids outside to play – try balls, bikes, skateboards, or sidewalk chalk.
• Resurrect some of the games you played as a kid – go outside with them and PLAY! Try soft ball, kick the can, tag, red rover, or hide-and-seek.
• Some areas offer free or low cost day camps – soccer, gymnastics, etc. – check out what is available in your area.

According to the Let’s Move website, spend time this summer encouraging your child to be active by exploring, riding, swimming or playing outside. Here are some ideas for each area:

Let’s Explore!
As a family explore parks in your area. You may find a new walking trail, play ground or nature preserve. Plan a walk around the block in your neighborhood in the evening. Be safe but encourage your child to explore their surroundings. Visit http://www.nwf.org/NatureFind.aspx to locate a new area to explore.
Let’s Ride!
Pump up those bike tires, grab your bike helmet and check those brakes. Enjoy a family bike ride either in your neighborhood or on a bike path. Many bike paths are available so explore a new one today. Find one of the many rails-to-trails for a smooth bike ride through nature.
Let’s Swim!
Find a safe spot to swim. Lifeguards save lives so select a pool or swimming area carefully. Remember to wear sun protection while in the sun.

Soccer
Let’s Play!
Look for a playground in your area. Perhaps you can plan a day to visit a play area near your home. Pack a picnic lunch and play! For play spaces near you, visit http://mapofplay.kaboom.org/playspaces/new

Remember to have fun this summer and encourage your family (kids and adults) to get outside and play! Get creative and reduce that screen time to one hour per day.

Sources: http://makinghealtheasier.org/getmoving

http://Healthyohioprogram.org

http://mapofplay.kaboom.org/playspaces/new

http://www.nwf.org/NatureFind.aspx

http://www.letsmove.gov

Author: Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA treber.1@osu.edu

Reviewer: Marilyn Rabe, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, Heart of Ohio EERA rabe.9@osu.edu

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